Yesterday was the official delivery day of baby girl #3 into our little family. As many of you know, this was a completely different experience than my last two. After two attempts at fully natural births, both resulting in emergency cesareans, this time I opted to have a scheduled cesarean…something I never, ever anticipated. For a granola girl like me, when I laid out my birth plans originally, I never considered the possibility of ending up in an emergency c-section. By the time I made it to the OR, I was so exhausted from intense labor that with each delivery it was all I could do to keep my eyes open to welcome my little girls, who were immediately whisked off to the nursery while I passed out in recovery, only to truly meet them hours later.
With this one, knowing the decision had been made for us to choose a healthy baby in one piece vs. forcing my “perfect scenario” delivery, I wanted to just see what options I had. When I googled “natural cesarean,” I had no idea what would come up. What I found, however, fascinated me.
I know your first thought – “natural” cesarean? You must be crazy! However, as you’ll see here, it’s not about medicine being nixed – it’s about bringing back the natural process of mother/child bonding and the beauty of birth vs. simply being a surgical procedure.
When I approached my doctor about doing something similar, I wasn’t sure what her response would be. Thankfully, not only was she completely on board with it, she had the power (as Chief of OB/GYN) to actually test it out! Thus I became the first mother at Baptist Hospital to try some of the procedures you see in this video.
September 25th, 2012 – my delivery day finally arrived. In an effort to let my baby come on her own, I scheduled the cesarean 2 days after my due date. My little Chiquita was perfectly content to wait it out. The time arrived, and unlike before, I didn’t walk into the hospital in the throes of labor pains. We arrived at the hospital ready to go at 5am. At 7, we went into the OR, and by 7:14, our little baby was born!
I am so, so thankful for the experience I got at Baptist. They listened to my desires to create a natural environment for baby and me, even though I couldn’t have it without the help of modern medicine. Every person involved in the process of bringing my baby into the world – from scrub nurses to surgeons to anesthesiologists – all made it a point not just to work together to bring her into the world, but to personally introduce themselves to me by name and include me in the process. They took a standard surgical procedure and made it personal.
Birth is a natural occurrence, yet sometimes needs medical intervention. I was able to bring the natural beauty and human connection back in with the help of a supportive medical team – it wasn’t about the surgery or the hospital – it was about that priceless moment when you see your child for the first time.
- Every staff member in the OR personally introduced themselves to my husband and I – the power of using names takes you from being simply “patient 12″ to really being personal…and thus they were more inclined to include me in the process – telling me everything that was being done and why.
- Put the IV drip in my non-dominant hand and ECG dots on my back and side so my chest was free for baby.
- “Walk” the baby out one shoulder at a time – similar to easing baby out during contractions vs. simply pulling her out (this allows for the lung fluid to be squeezed out of her lungs similarly to a vaginal delivery).
- Once the head was out, the curtain was immediately dropped so we saw her being delivered.
- The cord was not clamped until it had stopped pulsing. During that time they wiped her off a bit and I never took my eyes off of her!
- As soon as the cord was cut, the delivery nurse placed her straight on my bare chest – immediate skin-to-skin contact.
- All assessments of her were done while she laid on me with no eye ointment – we got to see her open her eyes and us be the first thing she saw.
- From the moment she was delivered she was in my arms, and other than when Nathan took her to be weighed, in my arms is where she stayed!
- She and Nathan stayed in recovery with me – just the three of us – before we moved to the room where I remained for the rest of the visit (that was flooded with visitors)!
8lbs 13oz, 19″
Born September 25th, 2012 at 7:14am